Here you’ll find articles on traditional and not-so-traditional approaches to investing — primarily in individual stocks, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and bonds. Along with my breakdown and scrutiny of general strategies are first-hand experiences in implementing these approaches. Specific topics include building an investment portfolio and possible ways to determine whether a stock is bargain priced. Information and insights in the Investing category can help you develop a framework for making investment decisions.

Online Tools to Build Investment Portfolios

Putting together a diversified investment portfolio can be uncomplicated and performed in the solitude of my home. I can use online tools provided by brokerage firms to quickly build investment portfolios.

These tools don’t substitute for customized investment recommendations. The portfolios suggested may or may not be suitable for specific objectives. And, though they’re typically diversified portfolios, diversification doesn’t protect against loss all the time or guarantee a profit. But they’re free to use and they can offer insights into how a portfolio is constructed.

Investing Scenarios That Make Me Pause or Run

Avoiding a bad investment deal can be as important as finding the right mix of investments. There are two main types of investing scenarios to avoid: 1) the investment scam, an outright illegal operation and 2) the raw deal, an arrangement that’s legal but clearly not in the best interest of the investor.

The specifics of fraudulent offers and sketchy investments may change as times change. Today’s environment may be ripe for tricks involving green energy or pre-IPOs whereas shady offshore investments may have been more prevalent in the past.

Sales pitches associated with out-and-out scams and lousy deals tend to be consistent. They may promise high returns with no risk or grant access to investments typically reserved for the ultra-wealthy. What’s tricky is that they often contain an element of (half) truth.

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